Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is an Ayurvedic herb commonly used in traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha means ‘Smell of Horse. Ashwagandha is a plant. The root and berry are used to make medicine. Ashwagandha has a lot of uses. Ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness, bronchitis, backache, menstrual problems and chronic liver disease.
How Does Ashwagandha Work?
Ashwagandha is a calming herb that helps to normalize the entire HPA axis, providing a subtle balancing effect on all the systems of the body. Ashwagandha calms the hypothalamus (included in the HPA axis), which regulate important functions such as hormone levels, temperature, weight, and sleep cycles.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is one of the most effective herbs for balancing hormones and reducing the detrimental effects of stress. Studies have shown, ashwagandha helps to :
- Improving thinking ability & formation of memories
- Protects the immune system
- Decreasing pain, swelling
- Improve physical performance in men & women
- Reduce LDL cholesterol & Treat Alzheimer’s disease
- Used for fertility problems in men & women
- Increase sexual desire and satisfaction
Ashwagandha also offers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune enhancing properties. It is commonly used in chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and weight loss protocols.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Side effects of any type are unusual and mild, as ashwagandha has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years. Ashwagandha is appropriate for men, women, and adolescents. Though ashwagandha is generally sedating, some individuals may experience mild stimulation.
Ashwagandha contains iron and should be avoided by individuals who retain iron (hemochromatosis). As with any natural supplement, consultation with a healthcare provider should be obtained before using during pregnancy.